Description for Non-Characters

In the real world, we see things. It could be anything: cars, houses, trees, the sun, the moon, birds in the sky, or dogs on the ground. For us writers, it is imperative to find a way to describe those things.

This is different than describing characters, since eye color/hair color and slightly less important features cannot be used to describe the thing. For example, a car is not a person. It has a color to its paint job, which is similar to eye/hair color, but it goes far deeper than that. What is the make and model of the car? What kind of tires are on the car? Are there dents on the frame?

You get what I’m saying? The point is, there are a lot of things to point out if you’re going to do your job properly. The most important thing to remember, however, is that there is a such thing as too much description. The car example may work if it’s from the POV of someone who knows about cars, but that same person may not be as savvy on the various sub-genres of fantasy fiction.

A book lover would know those things like the back of their hand, but a car salesman would go in and see books about magic, knights, wizards, and elves, while a book lover knows there’s a lot more to it than that.

In a nutshell, your POV character (or your narrator) will describe things to the reader as they know things. Always keep that in mind.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017


World Building

In novel writing, research is key. You have to know what you are writing about before you go about writing the subject in question. But in fantasy and other genres with made up settings, world building takes the place of research, and it is the author’s job to create a world that only exists in the mind.

In order to do that properly, you have to look at things that exist in the real world and ask yourself how that can relate to a fictional one. In the real world, you have cars and other motorized vehicles, but how do people get around in a fantasy world?

Also, if you’re writing fantasy, what does the politics or the religion of people look like? Is your government a monarchy with a democratic twist? Is your religion a polytheistic version of Christianity? Also, what do the world cultures look like? In my novel, Kingslayer, I based a lot of my culture on Europe (not exclusive to England), plus I added a few hundred years so the characters could carry guns and ride airships and trains.

One of my all time favorite examples to world building is Harry Potter. In the magical world, there is a real world equivalent to pretty much everything. For sports, you have Quidditch and the Tri-wizard Tournament; for school, of course, the students focus on the magical arts as opposed to math and grammar, and instead of your ACT’s you have your OWL’s and NEWT’s; and you even have the media with The Daily Prophet.

I haven’t even touched on the Chocolate Frog Cards, so needless to say, HP is chock full of examples of world building. These are just a few ways a writer can make their world truly unique. And in fact, if you are setting your story in a secondary world, there are even more things you can do that are ripe for the picking.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

Finding Your Range

As writers, we love to tell stories. Some are naturally going to be longer than others, but what should be a writer’s focus in their career? Short fiction? Novels? Novellas? All of the above? That’s the question I hope to answer with this blog.

The truth is, some writers write in a different range than others. For example, my book Kingslayer is only 35,000 words, while other writers have books that are over twice that much. The point remains the same: different writers write different stories that are different sizes. So what should you focus on?

Well, it depends. What kinds of stories come more naturally to you? If the answer is that you write longer stories, focus on those. If you write shorter stories instead, focus on those and publish them in anthologies. In the age of digital publishing, there’s no shortage of platforms for what you want to write and how you want to see them in print.

The bottom line is this: some writers work differently than others, so you need to focus on what works best for you.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Finding a Writing Group

Many writers, including some published authors, are known for relying on a writing group to get feedback that is key to their revision process. But how does a writer go about finding one or starting one? Well, the truth is that this depends greatly on the resources available to you.

One of the most common places to find a writing group is a location that is somehow connected to the education system. In other words, schools (or rather, colleges) and libraries. A college writing program is the best place to find fellow writers aside from a library. And libraries tend to support literacy (obviously), so it’s pretty much common sense that a writing group may gather there once a month or so.

Personally, I’ve found that looking online doesn’t help at all. On the other hand, starting a writing group is something different entirely. You have to know other writers, and I’d advise you to find people who write similar stuff as you.

I once tried starting a writing group by posting an ad on Craigslist. Needless to say, it didn’t go very well. One writer wanted to do manga, and I write exclusively fantasy. Also, the two writers that emailed me didn’t take their writing seriously at all. That brings up another point. If you are a serious writer, only be in a writing group with other serious writers.

Always remember that having a writing group helps, but only if the other writers are as serious as you are. Otherwise, it’s just another hobby.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017